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o Trust Board CEO report June 2023

National and system update

On 15 June, the Department of Health & Social Care published ‘The government’s 2023 mandate to NHS England’. This can be read in full here, and sets out three priorities for NHS England to deliver alongside the NHS Long Term Plan, as follows:

  1. Cut NHS waiting lists and recover performance
  2. Support the workforce through training, retention and modernising the way staff work
  3. Deliver recovery through the use of data and technology

This month we have seen a third period of industrial action taken by our junior doctor colleagues. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the many colleagues involved in planning and preparedness, ensuring high quality care could be maintained throughout. I also extend our thanks to those patients who had their appointment or procedure postponed, for their patience and understanding.

We have also seen the start of the warmest weather to date in recent weeks, and I am grateful to colleagues working in both our acute and community services for their hard work in maintaining high standards of care in the heat. We also experienced high attendance at our Emergency Department by patients with respiratory difficulties linked to hay fever.

Outstanding care

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) undertook two inspections at the Trust this month: the first was in our paediatric emergency department in response to a sad case of an unexpected paediatric death. The second was an announced inspection of our maternity department as part of the CQC’s national programme; the department that was not inspected during the Trust inspection in 2022. The CQC have requested further information as part of the usual process and provided informal feedback. Once we have received final written reports, I will update the Board accordingly. I would also like to thank colleagues involved in these investigations for their hard work and professionalism throughout.

Key performance data are reported in the Integrated Performance Report with supporting narrative.

I am delighted to share that the Trust has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence for Atrial Fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm condition we treat, and the Bucks Heart Rhythm team were awarded Atrial Fibrillation and Supraventricular Tachycardia Pioneer Awards earlier this month. This is in recognition of the team’s pioneering work, including for implementing a nurse-led Amiodarone Initiation Clinic. More information can be read here.

Our recruitment to clinical trials continues to go from strength to strength, with the latest data from the National Institute for Health and Care Research showing the Trust has recruited its highest number to date, putting us 3rd in the region behind two large teaching hospitals.

Clinical colleagues have been hosting a number of conferences, notably the International Tetrahand UK Conference, which attracted c.100 attendees and focussed on discussing the surgical treatment of upper limb in tetraplegia (tetrahand surgery), helping suitable patients restore some upper limb function. The conference included five international speakers and our own colleagues from BHT: Professor Jeremy Rodrigues (plastic and hand surgeon), Joseph Papanikitas (radiologist) and Hazel Landymore (hand therapist).

Also this month they ran our first regional anaesthesia Annual Study Day. 83 delegates attended and we had expert speakers from London and the South West, as well as a series of virtual lectures from colleagues in the United States and Canada. The feedback has been extremely positive, for example: “This is the best conference I’ve attended. Way better than some of the big ones in London”.

This month we held our Quality Improvement and Clinical Audit Conference which was a great opportunity to celebrate the wealth of projects ongoing across the organisation and share best practice and learning.

At the end of Month 2, we reported a deficit of £6.1m, £0.3m better than the planned deficit of £6.4m. We spent £1m against our capital plan for £29.4m and have delivered efficiencies of £1.63m.

Healthy communities

I was pleased to join our South Bucks Health Visitor team at their drop-in clinic in High Wycombe library this month. We are all aware of how important the early years are and the long-lasting impact they have into adulthood, and services like these are so important for parents to be able to access support at this time in their child’s life.

One of the determinants of health is education, and our school engagement team have been working hard over recent months with lots of activities for schools and young people in our communities who are starting to think about opportunities for their careers. As well as attending local careers events alongside clinical colleagues, in collaboration with Bucks Skills Hub the team have been coordinating a series of careers events for coming months, plus a showcase designed for teachers.

Congratulations to our school nursery team who recently underwent an unannounced Ofsted inspection and retained their rating of Good for Amersham and Wycombe Day Nurseries. Like inspections by the Care Quality Commission, these events can sometimes feel stressful, so my thanks and commendation to everyone involved – fantastic recognition for the brilliant care they deliver for the youngest in our community, many of whom are children of colleagues.

Great place to work

We previously reported our results from the National Staff Survey, and work continues to analyse and use these data to inform our future planning. One of the areas that I would like to share with the Board is the data contained in Figure 1 below. It is good to see the positive changes we have made as an organisation in both compassion & inclusion and staff engagement, relative to the trend this year.

staff survey graph for CEO Board rep June 2023

Figure 1: National Staff Survey 2022 data from NHS People Promise Exemplar acute and acute & community NHS trusts showing change from 2021 to 2022 in score for “We are compassionate and inclusive” and staff engagement


It was a pleasure to attend the inaugural Buckinghamshire Health & Social Care Academy Conference Executive Breakfast and have the opportunity to speak with leaders in our industry in support of our workforce.

June is Pride Month, and we have been proudly flying our flag at Stoke Mandeville Hospital both to celebrate the diversity of our workforce, and as a symbol of inclusivity in our organisation, both for colleagues working here as well as the patients we care for.

Earlier this month we celebrated Carers’ Week. The numbers of carers in Buckinghamshire alone is stark: over 6000, and often people are surprised to discover they themselves may be classed as carers; according to the NHS definition “A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.” Here in BHT we are fortunate to have access to Carers Bucks who provide vital support for patients’ carers.

It was also Volunteers’ Week at the start of June, and I was fortunate enough to spend some time with two of our fabulous volunteers at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – in our Cancer Care and Haematology Unit, and on Ward 3. Our volunteers are invaluable to how we deliver services to our patients, in the communities as much as in our hospitals, so I want to take this opportunity to extend immense gratitude to our near 500 volunteers. Many of our colleagues also choose to volunteer in their spare time, either for BHT or for other organisations and charities, and I hope everyone feels rightly proud to choose to do this for their community.

We also celebrate Armed Forces Week and I will be privileged to spend some time with one of our physiotherapists who is also an Army Reservist, to find out what life is really like balancing these commitments, and how their experiences in both disciplines can cross-benefit the other.

Finally, Thursday 22 June is Windrush Day, and we will be flying the Windrush flag in recognition of the huge contribution this generation has made, and continues to make, to the NHS and healthcare in this country.

View PDF for appendices:

  • Appendix 1 – CARE Value awards
  • Appendix 2 – Executive Management Committee and Transformation Board
  • Appendix 3 – Place & System Briefing